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Nahum - A Warning to Us All

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Nahum - A Warning to Us All

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Nahum - A Warning to Us All

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We're going to look at the "rest of the story" of Nineveh and take a close look at the Book of Nahum. What can we learn from Nahum's message to Nineveh? Does it have an end-time significance? Is it relevant for us today? Does it have an application to you and me?

Transcript

 

We look at the Bible that we have here on our laps today, and sometimes you wonder why everything's in this.  When you look at some of the obscure books and obscure authors and you start to read some of the hundreds of stories that are in there, it makes you stop and think, why did God record all those for us?  One of the most interesting historical accounts in the Bible is that of the people of Nineveh.  You remember the prophet Jonah fleeing from God when given a job to warn Nineveh to repent, and after spending three days and three nights in the belly of the fish Jonah finally relented and did his job.  As you recall, in the Book of Jonah, the population of Nineveh listened to God and repented.  They changed their ways and they repented in sackcloth and ashes, and the king even had the livestock fast, and they put sackcloth on top of the cows.  They took it seriously.  And this all happened in the 700 B.C.'s.  The people of Nineveh did change their evil ways for a while.  And this national repentance was a first for a gentile nation, but as we know, this did not last, that 150 years later the prophets pronounced final destruction upon Nineveh, from which the city then never recovered.  In fact, Nineveh totally disappeared from the face of the earth.       

That's the background of the story that we're going to study today.  We're going to look at the "rest of the story" of Nineveh.  We're going to take a close look at the Book of Nahum, which is found in the Minor Prophet section of the Old Testament.  So, as you look, like I said, at the obscurer stories and books of the Old Testament, how often do you read Nahum?  It's just barely two pages in my Bible – about sixty verses or so – three chapters.  Well, what can we learn from Nahum's message to Nineveh?  Does it have an end-time significance?  Is it relevant for us today?  Does it have an application to you and me?  I've titled the message:  "Nahum – A Warning To Us All" –"Nahum - A Warning To Us All".  And I've divided it up into six sections here for the sermon this afternoon. 

Nahum is a mixture of history; an historical record of what was to take place in Nineveh – it's also prophetic, and I hope inspirational for us today too, as we go through some of these verses.  I have a hand-out for you today and the ushers should have copies to give everybody – there are more than enough copies to go around.  There are forty less students – I think I've over calculated, so there's a copy for everybody to have one of the hand-out.  And the hand-out shows the reach of the Assyrian Empire, of which Nineveh was the capital.  And on the reverse side of the hand-out, are some graphics and paintings that depict Nineveh.  So you'll see on the front side a depiction of the Assyrian Empire, both before Nahum's time and then afterwards – you'll see that it expanded.  And then on the back, some graphics of Nineveh and an interesting painting that we'll talk about in a moment. 

Let's begin in Nahum, Chapter 1:1 – and I've titled this section of the sermon:  "Nahum, the Poet""Nahum, the Poet".   And like I said, I think you'll get a little bit of education here today, but also hopefully some inspiration, as we see where this all leads and how it's relevant for us today. 

Nahum 1:1 Nahum 1:1The burden of Nineveh. The book of the vision of Nahum the Elkoshite.
American King James Version×
 The burden against Nineveh. The book of the vision of Nahum, the Elkoshite.

The Hebrew name Nahum means compassion, or comfort. You may not think of it first when you read the book, when it's about the end of the city.  But Nahum means compassion and comfort.  And it's interesting in light of God's promises throughout the book, of comfort and deliverance for His people.

But Nahum was a poet.  He wrote in a very vivid and powerful style, and he's been called the Poet Laureate among the Minor Prophets.  Richard D. Patterson, in his book, "Nahum, Habakkuk and Zephaniah" says on Page 10, that "Nahum was the Poet Laureate among the minor prophets."  Nahum was introduced in Calvin's Bible Commentary as the "complete and finished poem."  Calvin's Commentary on Jonah, Micah and Nahum on Page 6, says this (this is the English translation of it by John Owens), "No one of the minor prophets seems to equal the sublimity, the vehemence and the boldness of Nahum – besides, his prophecy is the complete and finished poem.  His exordium is magnificent and indeed majestic."  And the Book of Nahum is, in many ways, a literary masterpiece.

Robert Lowth writes in his book, "Lectures on the Sacred Poetry of the Hebrews", on Page 239:  "None of the Minor Prophets seem to equal Nahum in boldness, augur and sublimity.  His prophecy forms a perfect and regular poem – the exordium is not merely magnificent, it is truly majestic."  Now, unfortunately, in the English version of the Bible we have here today, we lose the original poetic style of the Hebrew manuscript.  But those who have studied Hebrew say that all three chapters are carefully worded poem, from start to finish. We'd absolutely appreciate Nahum a lot more if we could read his prophecy in the original Hebrew. 

Now the time of Nahum's prophecy is determined from two key facts: The fall of the Egyptian city of Thebes, which occurred in 663 BC, which is mentioned in Nahum as a past event, and the fall of Nineveh, which occurred in 612 BC, which was yet future in the Book.  So Nahum must have written between these dates, between 663 and 612 BC.  But as you're looking at the map here now – you've probably all got your copy now – on the map side you'll see the Assyrian Empire at around 824 BC in the dark green, and around 671 BC in the light green, and you can see that the Assyrian Empire expanded over that time all the way down into Egypt and East into what is called today, Iraq and Iran, and                   North up into Turkey and up into parts of South Eastern Europe.  The Assyrian Empire, of which Nineveh was the capital (you'll see Nineveh on the map there) - Nineveh was the capital of this huge empire.  It ruled that half of the world at that time. 

The prophet is called an Elkoshite in the very first verse of the Book, apparently after a city named Elkosh, the location of which is not quite certain.  Haley points out in his Bible Handbook, in the section on Nahum, that his name is in the word Capernaum, and that Capernaum is a town in Judea – Capernaum is Capernaum- Nahum is in the name Capernaum.  And Haley said his name means (to a Capernaum means) Village of Nahum. And this being the case, he was a resident or a founder of Capernaum.  And Haley says his birth place Elkosh was probably nearby.  But many scholars believe that Elkosh was not in Judea.  Smith's Bible Dictionary places Elkosh much further away.  Smith writes in his dictionary:  "This place is located at the modern Elkush – a village on the east bank of the Tigress River."  The Tigress River goes right by Nineveh.  So some speculate that Nahum was one of the captives from one of the ten tribes of Israel that was taken captive by Assyria years before.  That maybe Nahum lived out near Nineveh, as an Israelite, who had been taken captive. 

Haley's Bible Handbook comments on this, and Haley says on his section on Nahum:   "There is said to being an Elkosh on the Tigress River, twenty miles north of Nineveh, and that Nahum may have been among the Israelite captives."  So perhaps Nahum was actually among the few from the captured Northern kingdom that came back to the promised land from Northern Mesopotamia.  At any account, the words of Nahum were written to the people of Judah, and it's the Jews who preserved the prophecy that we now have before us.  There's no evidence that it was ever actually read to the Assyrians. 

So, I just wanted to give you a little background on Nahum there, as we look at the chart and the map, and understand Nahum was a prophet who wrote in poetry, in prose.  And is well respected as the Poet Laureate among the Minor Prophets. 

And now second point as we move into the story – I've titled the second point:  "The Evil Assyrian Empire." – "The Evil Assyrian Empire."  Nahum's Book directly addresses this empire and its capital city of Nineveh.  The Assyrian Empire appeared invincible at the time.  The Assyrians had already destroyed the Northern kingdom of Israel; taken into captivity the ten northern tribes.  The Southern kingdom of Judah still remained.  In fact, if you look at this map…see that tiny little yellow spot there called Judah?  The Assyrians had marched through the whole land, and all that was left of any foreign nation surviving, including that in Egypt, was this little yellow spot of Judah.  If you've ever studied the Books of First and Second Kings, you come to realize why that little yellow spot is still there.  Remember Hezekiah and Josiah was righteous kings?  And Nahum may have been alive at around that time of Josiah or Hezekiah - recall the story of Hezekiah praying to God to protect Jerusalem from the advancing of Assyrian armies, and Sennacherib.  And Hezekiah was a more righteous king, and the Jews woke up the next morning to find the entire Assyrian army dead out in the field – that type of city.

So God miraculously preserved Judah.  That's just kind of a bit of the back story - miraculously preserved Judah from the Assyrians.  So this is the time period that Nahum is writing in.  The Assyrians were a mighty army – they'd taken over that part of the known world.  And when you look at this huge empire, with that little bit of yellow left in the middle where Judah was, what Nahum said in his prophecy is:  "Assyria, Nineveh – you're going down!"  And when you look at the empire, it says "that's impossible – it's not possible for anything to happen to such a mighty kingdom." 

James Mureau graphically describes the empire at the time of Nahum in his book "Archaeology of the Scriptures" on Page 182.  And here's how Mureau describes it in his book:  "Assyria's expansion across Western Asia could be likened to an octopus whose tentacles stretch from the Persian Gulf to the Nile, and his head was Nineveh.  At that time, Nineveh was considered one of the most beautiful cities in the world.  Recently three of its kings had adorned the city with the wealth of the conquests and had built fabulous palaces.  These were made of brick, and on the walls of the palaces were exquisitely crafted vast reliefs which depicted the great victories. The great walls which surrounded the city measured twelve miles in circumference.  And, on the back side of the map you'll see kind of an outline of the city of Nineveh and the walls that went around it.  To the left of that is the Tigress River - just out of the edge of the graphic, there's the Tigress River.  So, that city wall measured twelve miles – it was a big engineering feat in itself.  Some say the walls were one hundred feet high. 

Well, in spite of Nineveh's greatness, Nahum foretold not only the city's destruction, but predicted it would never be rebuilt.  And after its destruction in 612 BC this mighty metropolis of the ancient world vanished from view.  We have to ask why?  In his book, "The Luck of Nineveh", Arnold Brackman writes on Page 21:  "Nineveh disappeared so quickly from sight…according to one oath of that, "When the Greek General Xenophon and his ten thousand soldiers passed over the sight, in his famous reconnaissance of the Persian Empire, he didn't realize the ruins of Nineveh were under his feet."  What had happened, asked Brackman - "When Nineveh was put to the torch, everything was burnt and gradually what was left became an artificial mound covered with grass."    

Well, though beautiful, even at the time, in looking at the power of the Assyrian Empire, Nahum's remarkable prediction came to pass, just as he had foretold.  And Nineveh was believed to be just a fable; the story of Jonah and the big fish was considered to be just a fable.  Because Archeologists could not find that Nineveh ever existed, they said this story in the Bible was just made up.  It was totally destroyed.  Well, Nineveh was rediscovered in 1845, so for more than 2,000 years people thought it was just a fable.  But in 1845 British Archeologist, Austen Henry Layard uncovered what came to be known then as Nineveh.  And as a result, they dug down deep and found the many treasures and pieces of art work from ancient Nineveh, that are now seen in famous museums and galleries around the world, especially in the British museum.  The ancient alabaster reliefs and art work are now in museums, and it was proven that the Bible was correct and that Nineveh did exist.              

Why was it destroyed?  Because Nineveh was an evil empire, that could not be allowed to continue.  Look at Nahum 3:1 Nahum 3:1Woe to the bloody city! it is all full of lies and robbery; the prey departs not;
American King James Version×
now - Nahum 3:1 Nahum 3:1Woe to the bloody city! it is all full of lies and robbery; the prey departs not;
American King James Version×
, Nahum writes:

Nahum 3:1 Nahum 3:1Woe to the bloody city! it is all full of lies and robbery; the prey departs not;
American King James Version×
  Woe to the bloody city!  It is full of lies and robbery.  Its victim never departs.

So, there were always victims of the Assyrian Empire – they were continually taking advantage of their enemies.  Nineveh and the Assyrian Empire had a well-earned reputation for being bloody and evil.  And if you ever get a chance to look at some of the art work and the alabaster reliefs from the palaces of Sennacherib and Ashurbanipal that are now in these world famous museums, you'll see the blood thirsty history.  There are graphic depictions….and you can just Google it – you'll see them.  There are graphic depictions of Israelites and other captives being impaled, decapitated, flayed open like a fish, tongues pulled out…other reliefs show the Assyrians making people grind the bones of their dead ancestors…and even vultures picking out the eyes of the captives.  So they were a gruesome empire.  One panel graphically shows their disrespect for human life where a General is giving a prestigious award to a soldier who decapitated six heads.  And there are two scribes there recording the event for posterity sake. 

Assyria was portrayed like a den of ravaging lions here in Nahum.  Look at Nahum, Chapter 2:11 – Like a den of ravaging lions feeding on the blood of the nations…and Assyria was brutal – almost beyond the imagination.
Nahum 2:11 Nahum 2:11Where is the dwelling of the lions, and the feeding place of the young lions, where the lion, even the old lion, walked, and the lion's whelp, and none made them afraid?
American King James Version×
 
Where is the dwelling of the lions, and the feeding place of the young lions, where the lion walked, the lioness and lion's cub, and no one made them afraid? 

The symbolism of lions is appropriate for Assyria here, as its ancient Emperors often compared themselves to lions, in power, and in prowess.  And the kings even held ceremonial lion hunts for the royal family.  The lions had no chance; they were like captive in the garden around the palace – like ceremonial lion hunts.  Verse 12 gives a depiction here of Assyria like a lion:

Verse 12:  The lion tore in pieces enough for his cubs, killed for his lionesses, filled his caves with prey, and his dens with flesh. 

Verse 13:  "Behold, I am against you," says the Lord of hosts.  "I will burn your chariots in smoke, and the sword shall devour your young lions; I will cut off your prey from the earth, and the voice of your messengers shall be heard no more."

So, though Nineveh had temporarily repented at Jonah's preaching around 150 years beforehand, and being spared for a while, the capital city of Assyria, Nineveh, is now marked for destruction, because Assyria now came to represent the height of evil.  Notice in Verse 13 – basically it's saying, if God is against you, who can be for you?  Today we say, if God is for you, who can be against you?  What we're seeing in Verse 13, if God is against you, what chance do you have, in reality.  Nineveh's fate is now sealed in this prophecy from Nahum.  And this is because of the torturous, brutal, evil regime that the Assyrians had become.  And God says He'll bring infinitely more power and finality than Assyria ever brought to its enemies.  So we have to ask a question as we go through the Book, does this hold a lesson to you and me today?     

The third way I've divided up this message is:  "Vengeance is Mine, says the Lord" – "Vengeance is Mine, says the Lord."  The Book opens with a portrait of God as an avenger, but as an avenger of His people.  God will watch out and look after His people, and you can only take advantage of God's people for so long.  Notice Nahum 1:2 Nahum 1:2God is jealous, and the LORD revenges; the LORD revenges, and is furious; the LORD will take vengeance on his adversaries, and he reserves wrath for his enemies.
American King James Version×
, because this term avenge is used three times in Verse 2.

Nahum 1:2 Nahum 1:2God is jealous, and the LORD revenges; the LORD revenges, and is furious; the LORD will take vengeance on his adversaries, and he reserves wrath for his enemies.
American King James Version×
  God is jealous, and the Lord avenges; the Lord avenges and is furious.  The Lord will take vengeance on His adversaries, and He reserves wrath for His enemies.    

Verse 3:(The first part) The Lord is slow to anger and great in power, and will not at all acquit the wicked.

So, while God can be patient, eventually wickedness cannot be allowed to continue, andGod will avenge.  He's described here as jealous and furious.  And the fact that He's slow to anger (here in Verse 3) may be a reflection back on the fact that He did allow Nineveh to repent, back in the time of Jonah, but that slowness would not last forever – that being slow to anger. Eventually Nineveh would pay the penalty.

But now Nineveh had degraded into its previous conduct; was no longer a repentant empire, and God said I cannot allow sin to continue forever.  God said I cannot be patient with Assyria indefinitely.  Now remember, this jealous God that is going to seek vengeance for His people Israel, is the Word that came and dwelt amongst us and was Jesus Christ.  The God here of the Old Testament is the One that became Jesus Christ.  People always speak of Jesus Christ as being the One, the God of love; and the God of the Old Testament being the mean God…it's the same being.  The Word was the God of the Old Testament that became Jesus Christ.  And God's all-consuming power is witnessed here in the next few verses by His control over even the elements of the earth.  We're talking about the Creator of the universe here.  Nahum 1, the last part of Verse 3:

Nahum 1:3 Nahum 1:3The LORD is slow to anger, and great in power, and will not at all acquit the wicked: the LORD has his way in the whirlwind and in the storm, and the clouds are the dust of his feet.
American King James Version×
  The Lord has His way in the whirlwind and in the storm, and the clouds are the dust of His feet.

So, the clouds are the dust of God's feet.  In other words, you know, God is up in the heavens; He's not bound by the physical world. 

Verse 4:  He rebukes the sea and makes it dry, - even that's a reference to the Israelites crossing the Red Sea – dries up all the rivers, Bashan and Carmel wither, and the flower of Lebanon wilts.

Verse 5:  The mountains quake before Him, the hills melt, and the earth heaves at His presence, Yes, the world and all who dwell in it.

Verse 6:  Who can stand before His indignation?  And who can endure the fierceness of His anger?  His fury is poured out like fire, and the rocks are thrown down by Him.

So, this is a warning to Nineveh:  No matter how big and strong you think you are in your big empire, God is much greater; in fact, He even controls the elements of the earth.  In Verse 8, the end of Nineveh comes with an overflowing flood, where we read:

Verse 8:  But with an overflowing flood He will make an utter end of its place, and darkness will pursue his enemies.   

Now, remember this was all written before Nineveh was destroyed; it's a prophecy.  And so many elements of this prophecy came to pass exactly as Nahum was inspired to write.  The Nelson Study Bible notes here about Verse 8:  "It is believed that the invaders of Nineveh entered the city through its flooded waterways.  This may well be, as the city was guarded by walls one hundred feet high, and it seems to be supported by Nahum, Chapter 2:6", says Nelson.  If you read Nahum 2:6 Nahum 2:6The gates of the rivers shall be opened, and the palace shall be dissolved.
American King James Version×
you see Nahum prophesied:  The gates of the rivers are opened, and the palace is dissolved.  Here on Verse 6 of Chapter 2, Nelson says:  "Archeologists have found evidence of flood debris that may be associated with the destruction of the city."  So, when they uncovered Nineveh, you know one hundred years ago or so, they found evidence of it being destroyed by water.  Whether it's a literal flood, or a flood of armies (because you know a flood can also be a flood of armies in the Bible) we're not sure, but the result is the same - the palace was dissolved.  As Verse 6 says, the palace is dissolved.  See, God's judgment on Nineveh became very swift. 

Here's a bit of information about the palace, and on the back here of the map you see this oddest depiction of the palace?  It's called the "Palace of Nimrod", at Nineveh.  So archaeologists believe that here on the west wall of the city was a magnificent palace at Nineveh.  It's interesting that it's named "The Palace of Nimrod" in this painting.  Here's a bit of information about the palace from Historian Will Durant…He writes in his book, "The Story of Civilization", of Volume 1, in the section "Our Oriental Heritage", Page 282, he says:  "Sennacherib" - of course Sennacherib was the one who was defeated by God outside the walls of Jerusalem earlier – "Sennacherib raised at Nineveh a royal mansion called "The Incomparable"'.  So he built a mansion and he said, "This is incomparable to anything else on earth - surpassing in size all other palaces of antiquity.  And through the reign of Sennacherib's son, Esarhaddon, the palace had deteriorated so much that when the next Emperor, Ashurbanipal, the last great ancient Assyrian Emperor came to power, he extravagantly rebuilt it."  So there's historical evidence of this giant palace once flanking the walls of ancient Nineveh.  "But the palace was destroyed – it was dissolved when Nineveh was invaded."

So the point, that nobody ever even believed the city ever existed there until the 1800's when it was discovered under the sand.  So God's destruction of Nineveh was very, very complete.  In Nahum 1:14 Nahum 1:14And the LORD has given a commandment concerning you, that no more of your name be sown: out of the house of your gods will I cut off the graven image and the molten image: I will make your grave; for you are vile.
American King James Version×
the prophet proclaims to Nineveh a direct warning from God; God's judgment was to be meted out.  And its idolatrous religion was to be brought to an end.  God cannot allow wickedness to remain unabated, to continue forever. 

Nahum 1:14 Nahum 1:14And the LORD has given a commandment concerning you, that no more of your name be sown: out of the house of your gods will I cut off the graven image and the molten image: I will make your grave; for you are vile.
American King James Version×
 The Lord has given a command concerning you: "Your name shall be perpetuated no longer.  Out of the house of your gods I will cut off the carved image and the molded image.  I will dig your grave, for you are vile."   

And in ancient times, this was centered on the worship of the forefather of the Assyrians: Ashur.  Ashur is where the name Assyrian comes from.  If you look at some of the cities on here, on the map you'll see the city of Ashur, and the city of Nineveh.  But the Assyrians were all Ashur's decent – that's where they get their name.  And there's an ancient forefather of the Assyrian religion, who was also the founder of Babylon.  You know who that ancient forefather or the father of the Assyrian religion is?  It was Nimrod – who is Nimrod.  And I think that's why this palace was named after Nimrod- that was painted like this. 

The worship of Nimrod has actually persisted, to today.  It's not called Nimrod's worship anymore – it's called "Mystery Religion of Babylon".  Revelation calls it Mystery Babylon, and it's a great false religion, that today masquerades as Christianity.  So the forefathers of, what we will call Babylon today – the mystery religion today, was Nimrod and the Assyrians and those who worshipped at Nineveh.  You see the Ziggurat, or the temple here on the chart, it's an honest depiction of one of the many Ziggurats that was throughout the Assyrian Empire.  It was like a temple for worship and where sacrifices were made – and they weren't only animal sacrifices, as you know – also people sacrifices. 
So, this Mystery Babylon, as Revelation says, will eventually come to an end with the return of Jesus Christ.  It is still with us today in many forms.  There are some interesting studies, even about the study of Baal, being with us today. 

Now, notice in Verse 14 of Nahum 1 that God also states that Nineveh will be buried, will become a grave.  The Nelson Study Bible notes here on Verse 14 concerning Nineveh:  "This prophecy came true literally.  The city was destroyed so completely that its very existence was questioned until its discovery by archeologists in the 19th century."  Nahum2:3 - Let's read on a little bit, as we look at our evil empire here, as we look at God's vengeance on it:

Nahum 2:3 Nahum 2:3The shield of his mighty men is made red, the valiant men are in scarlet: the chariots shall be with flaming torches in the day of his preparation, and the fir trees shall be terribly shaken.
American King James Version×
  The shields of the mighty men are made red, the valiant men are in scarlet.  The chariots come with flaming torches in the day of his preparation, and the spears are brandished.  (This is talking about the destruction of Nineveh.)

Verse 4:  The chariots rage in the streets, they jostle one another in the broad roads; they seem like torches, they run like lightning.

Verse 5:  He remembers his nobles; they stumble in their walk; they make haste to her walls, and the defense is prepared.

So verse 3, 4, and 5 here - images of warfare.  And as we'll come to see, maybe images of even modern warfare, yet future. 

Nahum 2:8 Nahum 2:8But Nineveh is of old like a pool of water: yet they shall flee away. Stand, stand, shall they cry; but none shall look back.
American King James Version×
  Though Nineveh of old was like a pool of water, now they flee away.  "Halt! Halt!" they say; but no one turns back.

Verse 9:  Take spoil of silver!  Take spoil of gold!  There is no end of treasure, or wealth of every desirable prize.

Verse 10:  She is empty, desolate, and waste!  The heart melts, and the knees shake; much pain is in every side, and all their faces are drained of color.

So, what we're seeing here is the completeness of God's judgment on Nineveh.  Nineveh's soldiers, the mighty men of war, flee away in spite of the military leader's efforts to rally them and tell them to stop – say "halt" - but the soldiers flee!  They are so terrified by the advancing onslaught.  Nineveh possessed incredible wealth from plundering its enemies, and he would see the gold and the silver just being taken out of the city.  And then, amazingly the city is finally emptied - Verse 10 says, she is empty.  And so the powerful, ravenous beast of Assyria is itself devoured, because God has brought these stronger forces against her, to the point that the city is empty.  And as we know, was emptied so thoroughly that nobody lived there ever again.  And it disappeared off the face of the earth. 

Much of this judgment that we read here is reiterated in Chapter 3.  I might just read Verse 11 here though…

Nahum 2:11 Nahum 2:11Where is the dwelling of the lions, and the feeding place of the young lions, where the lion, even the old lion, walked, and the lion's whelp, and none made them afraid?
American King James Version×
  Where is the dwelling of the lions, - where is this mighty lion, Assyria, where has it gone – it disappeared – and the feeding place of the young lions, where the lion walked, the lioness and the lion's cub, and no one made them afraid? 

Assyria was not afraid of its enemies…but God says: now where is this lion? It completelydisappeared and it's gone.  So then in Chapter 3, a lot of this judgment is reiterated…but Chapter 3 in the original poetry is a woe oracle – it's repeated again in a different style in the Hebrew, and it's an oracle of woe pronounced upon those who are then doomed.  God will have, Nahum says, the final word when it comes to sin.  And, this should always be a lesson in our mind too.  It's a direct application to us and how we live our lives.  You can't get away with things forever…just like Nineveh and Assyria could not get away with their atrocities, neither can modern nations, neither can modern man get away with sin forever – eventually judgment will come.  Notice Nahum 3:8 Nahum 3:8Are you better than populous No, that was situate among the rivers, that had the waters round about it, whose rampart was the sea, and her wall was from the sea?
American King James Version×
:

Nahum 3:8 Nahum 3:8Are you better than populous No, that was situate among the rivers, that had the waters round about it, whose rampart was the sea, and her wall was from the sea?
American King James Version×
  Are you better than No Amon that was situated by the River, that had the waters around her, whose rampart was the sea, whose wall was the sea?

Here Nahum refers to a city called No Amon, which is the city of Thebes in Egypt.  And you'll see it down here on the chart; Thebes is down here on the Nile River in Egypt.  Of course, it's all green on this map now, isn't it?  The Assyrians completely wiped out Thebes and took over Egypt as well.  And that was during the time that they were trying to get Judah and couldn't, because God protected Judah miraculously.  So Thebes had itself sat on a great river too, just like Nineveh did – it was the mighty Nile of Thebes.  It had been the seat of many Pharaohs, and a major center of religious worship, with sprawling temples throughout the land.  Notice Verse 9 of Nahum 3:

Nahum 9:3 Nahum 9:3
American King James Version×
  Ethiopia and Egypt were her strength, and it was boundless; Put and Lubim were your helpers.   

The Thebes in Egypt thought they were indestructible too, and so Nahum is saying, "Nineveh, don't think this can't happen to you as well." 

Verse 10:   Yet she was carried away, (Thebes was carried away), she went into captivity; her young children also were dashed to pieces at the head of every street; they cast lots for her honorable men, and all her great men were bound in chains. 

You see, Thebes's neighbors were allied with her, yet she fell to the Assyrians in 663 BC.  And the children of Egypt were slaughtered, and her mighty ones taken captive.  This is a warning to Nineveh…the same thing is going to happen to you for what you did, not only  to Israel, but to even the Egyptians

Verse 11:  You also will be drunk; - You know, you can't fight very well when you're drunk – you will be hidden; you also will seek refuge from the enemy. 

Verse 12:   All your strongholds are fig trees with ripened figs; if they are shaken, they fall into the mouth of the eater.

Verse 13:   Surely, your people in your midst are women!  (Your army is like an army of women.)  The gates of your land are wide open for your enemies; fire shall devour the bars of your gates.  

And you can almost imagine the poetry here, and the symbolism, that would had been in the original Hebrew, as Nahum was writing this oracle here; this woe oracle.  There would be analogies of the figs falling from trees into the mouth of the eater.  So here God announces that Nineveh will fare just as badly as Thebes; as of No Amon.  Nineveh will be taken as easily as ripe figs are shaken from a tree.

We had a fig tree in Melbourne where I grew up – it was in the back yard, and when the figs are ripe, if you just knock the tree, a whole bunch would fall on the ground.  It didn't take much for them to fall off.  That's how easily that Assyria would be defeated.  Soldiers of Assyria would be like drunks, or as women in the coming battle, and the fortress walls would be useless.   Notice Verse 17 – an interesting little bit of poetry –

Verse 17:  Your commanders are like swarming locusts, and your generals like great grasshoppers, which camp in the hedges on a cold day; but when the sun rises they flee away, and the place where they are is not known. 

It's like when, you know, if you've ever been in a place where there are cockroaches or bugs…you turn the light on…shoo, they're gone!  That's what it was like to the Assyrian army – like grasshoppers disappearing when the sun comes up.  You know, the Generals are saying, "Stop! Halt! Halt!"- and they keep fleeing. 

Verse 18:  Your shepherds slumber, O king of Assyria; your nobles rest in the dust.  Your people are scattered on the mountains, and no one gathers them.

Verse 19:   Your injury has no healing; your wound is so severe. – (In other words, there's no coming back from this attack, Assyria – this injury is not going to be healed.)  All who hear news of you will clap their hands over you, for upon whom has not your wickedness passed continually? 

So Assyria's leaders are going to disappear when they're needed the most – there will be absolutely no recovery, no healing from this devastation.  The people who are left in surrounding lands will at last rejoice, clap their hands, and be relieved at the removal of this oppressive empire that treated them all so harshly.  And what we read here in these verses surely did then come to pass in 612 BC – Nineveh was totally destroyed.  But it's also a type of what is yet to happen in the last days.  So once again I ask, does it have an application for you and me today?  Think about that as we continue.  For all of its might, Nineveh quickly fell into ruin, leaving no trace that it ever existed, except for a mound in the desert, which is known today as Qotel Peogant.  It's a place in Iraq now, in the suburbs of Mosul, Iraq…Qotel Peogant – Qotel means mount; Mount Peogant.  It means the Mount of many sheep.  So eventually just became a place where sheep grazed…what was once a mighty city. 

Listen to Historian Will Durant's account again, of what happened to ancient Nineveh.  This is from the same book, "The Story of Civilization", Volume 1…"Our Oriental Heritage", on Page 283.  Will Durant says:  "Ashurbanipal died in 626 BC…quote… Even the Emperor, the king's name is Ashurbanipal, like Assyria."  "He died in 626 BC.  Fourteen years later an army of Babylonians, under Nabopolassar, united with an army of Medes, under Cyaxeres, and a horde of Scythians from the Caucasus, with amazing ease and swiftness captured the citadels of the North."  I might mention that the Scythians that combined with the Babylonians and the Medes to destroy Nineveh…a lot of those Scythians were probably Israelites that had been captured many years before that had blended into the society.  So Durant says:  "Nineveh was laid waste as ruthlessly and completely as the kings had once ravaged Susa and Babylon.  The city was put to the torch; the population was slaughtered or enslaved, and the palace so recently built by Ashurbanipal, was sacked and destroyed.  At one blow, Assyria disappeared from history – nothing remained of her.  The near east remembered her for a while as a merciless genefire of a dozen lesser states, and the Jews recalled Nineveh vengefully as "the bloody city full of lies and robbery."  In a little while, all but the mightiest of the great kings were forgotten, and all their royal palaces were in ruins under the drifting sands.  Two hundred years after its capture, Xenophon's ten thousand men marched over the mounds that had been Nineveh and never suspected that these were the site of the ancient metropolis that had ruled half the world.  Not a stone remained visible of all the temples with which Assyria's pious warriors had sought to beautify the greatest capital."  Durant says:  "Even Ashur, the everlasting god, was dead!" 

So when the armies came through, just two hundred years later, and crossed over that mound, they never even knew a city had existed there.  Yet, all this, what happened to Nineveh, was but a forerunner of the destruction that will finally come on the end-time Assyrian, Babylonian super- power, to be centered in Europe – which leads us to our next point.

Number four is:  "Nahum preaching a dual warning" – "Nahum preaching a dual warning."  So, once again I ask…so many little obscure books in here that have been restored, and preserved for us to read…why?  What we find is, that not only was Nahum a prophecy about ancient Nineveh…it's also a prophecy about a future Assyrian Empire that will be destroyed.  Nahum 1:7 Nahum 1:7The LORD is good, a strong hold in the day of trouble; and he knows them that trust in him.
American King James Version×
– Let's go back to Nahum 1 and read Verse 7:

Nahum 1:7 Nahum 1:7The LORD is good, a strong hold in the day of trouble; and he knows them that trust in him.
American King James Version×
   
The Lord is good, a stronghold in the day of trouble; and He knows those who trust in Him.

What you're going to see here now, some clear indications that Nahum is also an end-time prophecy.  At first here in Verse 7 it just mentions of the day of trouble, which in Scripture signified The Day of the Lord.  Then there's the fact that God's people will be afflicted no more in Verse 12.  And this has not yet been the case for the tribe of Judah.  It's a future statement.  At the end time, modern Assyria, a modern version of the Ninevites, will once again arise as the foe of God's people, known as Israel – spiritual Israel and physical Israel.

You can actually read about that in Isaiah, Chapter 10.  I'm not going to turn there right now, but Isaiah 10, Verses 5 and 6 specifically talk about an end-time Assyrian Empire that will persecute Israel, and will be the physical descendants of Jacob - but also the spiritual descendants of Jacob.  And as we understand from history and the Biblical record, it's the people of Central Europe who are, in large part, descended from the ancient Assyrians.  And here in Nahum, Nineveh may represent a future European nation, or an Empire that the descendants of ancient Nineveh will come to dominate.  So the Assyrians are still with us to this day.  A modern day Assyria will most likely be the foremost nation of the coming King of the North, or the Beast power – and end-time Babylon, which will once again enslave Israel and fight against Christ at His second coming – but once again will be brought to destruction.  The prophecy here is dual.

Notice Nahum1:9, because here the Prophet directly addresses Nineveh seen as conspiring and plotting against God: 
Nahum 1:9 Nahum 1:9What do you imagine against the LORD? he will make an utter end: affliction shall not rise up the second time.
American King James Version×
 
What do you conspire against the Lord?  He will make an utter end of it.  Affliction will not rise up a second time. 

Verse 10:  For while tangled like thorns, and while drunken like drunkards, they shall be devoured like stubble fully dried.     

Verse 11:  From you comes forth one who plots evil against the Lord, a wicked counselor.   

What we read here in these three verses is not a poetry photo image, it's an image that transpired in Nahum's time – it seems to make more sense if viewed as an end-time prophecy, or in an end-time context.  When the people of Central Europe, as part of the final king of the North, will destroy a modern Israelite nation, and then oppose Christ at His return.  This is a direct plot against God as by a wicked counselor – it's an end-time prophecy.  The wicked Counselor in Verse 11 could be the end-time false prophet, or end-time beast dictator – perhaps even Satan the devil himself who empowers their evil.
Notice Nahum 1:15 Nahum 1:15Behold on the mountains the feet of him that brings good tidings, that publishes peace! O Judah, keep your solemn feasts, perform your vows: for the wicked shall no more pass through you; he is utterly cut off.
American King James Version×
:

Nahum 1:15 Nahum 1:15Behold on the mountains the feet of him that brings good tidings, that publishes peace! O Judah, keep your solemn feasts, perform your vows: for the wicked shall no more pass through you; he is utterly cut off.
American King James Version×
 
Behold, on the mountains the feet of him who brings good tidings, who proclaims peace!  Oh Judah, keep your appointed feasts, perform your vows.  For the wicked one shall no more pass through you; he is utterly cut off. 

Now here, Nahum repeats a prophecy of Isaiah 52, Verse 7, which is a prophecy of the preaching of the gospel message…the feet of him who brings good tidings.  It's good news – it's the gospel!  And it's a prophecy of the coming of Jesus Christ who came to Galilee, preaching the gospel of the kingdom of God.  That prophecy from Isaiah was about Christ's first coming.  But it may even refer here to Christ's second coming, when Christ will bring world peace at last, because this is a prophecy in Nahum 1:15 Nahum 1:15Behold on the mountains the feet of him that brings good tidings, that publishes peace! O Judah, keep your solemn feasts, perform your vows: for the wicked shall no more pass through you; he is utterly cut off.
American King James Version×
of one who proclaims peace to the whole world.  Also in Verse 15 the Jews are told to keep your appointed feasts…the feasts that the Jews observed were actually God's feasts…they're not Jewish feasts; they're God's feasts that are intended for all of mankind to keep.  And God is telling them to keep these feasts in an end-time context, at a time when peace will be proclaimed – at a time when the gospel will go forth.  And here at the end of Verse 15, the wicked enemy will never again be allowed to pass through their land.  And this has not been the case for the Jewish people for 2,600 years.  This is a future event – it's something that has not yet happened. 

So are we talking about an end-time event – is Nahum a dual prophecy?  It undoubtedly is.  Let's go to Chapter 3 again, to the woe oracle…Nahum 3:1 Nahum 3:1Woe to the bloody city! it is all full of lies and robbery; the prey departs not;
American King James Version×
.  Nineveh is described as a bloody city, continually at war, deceitful in foreign policy and plundering her neighbors. 

Nahum 3:1 Nahum 3:1Woe to the bloody city! it is all full of lies and robbery; the prey departs not;
American King James Version×
Woe to the bloody city!  It is full of lies and robbery.  Its victim never departs.

Verse 2:  The noise of a whip and the noise of rattling wheels, of galloping horses, of clattering chariots!

Verse 3:  Horsemen charge with bright sword and glittering spear, there is a multitude of slain, a great number of bodies, countless corpses – they stumble over the corpses –
So this is a picture of how the Assyrians would, you know, invade their enemies – countless corpses.  And we've seen things like this, in the Third Reich even:  millions of corpses from gas chambers.  Yet, much of this is just a forerunner of the end-time empire to appear on the world scene that will do likewise.  But as the prophecy shows, Assyria, both ancient and future, will itself then be destroyed.  Notice Nahum 3:4 Nahum 3:4Because of the multitude of the prostitutions of the well favored harlot, the mistress of witchcrafts, that sells nations through her prostitutions, and families through her witchcrafts.
American King James Version×
…notice the description of Nineveh as the great harlot of sorceries.  And this ties in directly to other prophecies of end-time Babylon in Isaiah and Revelation.

Nahum 3:4 Nahum 3:4Because of the multitude of the prostitutions of the well favored harlot, the mistress of witchcrafts, that sells nations through her prostitutions, and families through her witchcrafts.
American King James Version×
  Because of the multitude of harlotries of the seductive harlot, the mistress of sorceries, who sells nations through her harlotries, and families through her sorceries.

So this Verse describes the seductive harlot, the mistress of sorceries…clearly a reference to end-time Babylon, dominated by the Babylon Mystery religion.  So Nineveh would in this sense seem to represent the spiritual capital of the coming European Empire – the great religion centered there.  In Verse 4 she's said to have sold entire nations.  The end-time beast power does the same thing, in the Book of Revelation, Chapter 18.  It has happened before, and it will happen again – it's the same trait that the Assyrians have.  It's happened religiously or spiritually in the world, but it will also happen literally, as Bishops of the middle ages gave people over to various despots to insure the prominence of their church.  But there will also be a literal fulfillment when the end-time sorcerer, the end-time harlot, participates in the selling of conquered people prior to Christ's return.  Like I said, you can read about that in Revelation, Chapter 18.

So Nahum is talking about something that's going to happen yet future as well.  And for her abominations, God will cause her to be shamed, vile and destroyed…as God says:  vengeance is mine.

Nahum 3:5 Nahum 3:5Behold, I am against you, said the LORD of hosts; and I will discover your skirts on your face, and I will show the nations your nakedness, and the kingdoms your shame.
American King James Version×
  "
Behold, I am against you," says the Lord of hosts; "I will lift your skirts over your face.  I will show the nations your nakedness, and the kingdoms your shame. 

So God is going to embarrass Assyria and Nineveh.

Verse 6:  I will cast abominable filth upon you, make you vile, and make you a spectacle.

Verse 7:  It shall come to pass that all who look upon you will flee from you, and say, ‘Nineveh is laid waste!  Who will bemoan her?'  Where shall I seek comforters for you?"

The Book of Nahum is a book of stern warning to the peoples of Nineveh of old, but it's also, in a larger sense, a warning to the descendants of ancient Assyria, many of whom now live in Central Europe.  And that's another whole study to see how the Assyrians migrated to Europe.  But, in an even larger sense, the Book of Nahum is a warning to any who will oppose God, or oppose His people - eventually it will catch up with you.  And what we see here in Nahum is very much an end-time setting, and Nahum is preaching a dual warning.

Number five now - we start to see how God takes care of His people, and I've call this:  "God's goodness to those who trust Him" – "God's goodness to those who trust Him." 

Here in the Book of Nahum, God releases fierce anger against Nineveh – we've seen that.  Especially against the depraved Empire that the Assyrians had become - like I said, sometime do an on-line search about Assyria.  You'll see the impaled heads; you'll see gruesome abortions even…people being skinned alive, and so much more.  However, the Book of Nahum is also about blessings and great comfort to all who will stand with God and put their trust in Him.  Just as Hezekiah and Josiah put their trust in God, and was spared for quite a time from the Assyrian Empire, we too, and anyone who will put their trust in God will be spared, and God will show His goodness to them.  God will stand with anyone who will forsake the ways of sin and pursue God's righteousness and His kingdom.  There's an encouraging outcome to the whole story of Assyria. While the Assyrian Empire was destroyed, and while we read of an end-time beast power that will be destroyed, there's an encouraging passage that tells us, that just like under the times of Jonah, the end-time Assyria will repent, and will change, and will turn to God and will serve alongside Israel.  I'll just reference a chapter for you; it's Isaiah, Chapter 19 where you can read that.  I'll just read you Isaiah 19, Verse 24, talking of the time after Christ returns. Isaiah says:

Isaiah 19:24 Isaiah 19:24In that day shall Israel be the third with Egypt and with Assyria, even a blessing in the middle of the land:
American King James Version×
   In that day Israel will be one of three with Egypt and Assyria, even a blessing in the midst of the land,   

So while this is a story of gloom for Assyria, here in the Book of Nahum, it's encouraging to know, as we look beyond to after Christ's return that Assyria will actually become a blessing to the world, alongside Egypt and Israel. 

So the destruction of Nineveh is all contrasted with God's goodness to those who do trust Him, and that has a definite application for us today.  Let's read Verse 7 again, from Nahum 1.  We looked at it a moment ago in the context of it pointing towards an end-time event, the Day of the Lord, the day of great trouble, but notice Verse 7 in this context:

Nahum 1:7 Nahum 1:7The LORD is good, a strong hold in the day of trouble; and he knows them that trust in him.
American King James Version×
 
The Lord is good, a stronghold in the day of trouble; and He knows those who trust in Him. 

If we remain faithful, we will be preserved through any day of great trouble, be in anytimeof great difficulty, or even during the worst time of trouble the world has ever seen - The Lord is good to those who trust Him. 

Verses 12 through 13 here in Chapter 1 contain a message to us, to God's people about His goodness:

Nahum 1:12 Nahum 1:12Thus said the LORD; Though they be quiet, and likewise many, yet thus shall they be cut down, when he shall pass through. Though I have afflicted you, I will afflict you no more.
American King James Version×
  Thus says the Lord:  "Though they are safe, and likewise many, - the Assyrians thought they could get away with this for a long time – yet in this manner they will be cut down when he passes through.  Though I have afflicted you, I will afflict you no more;

Verse 13:  For now I will break off his yoke from you, and burst your bonds apart."

God is telling His people that He will preserve them; He will break the bonds of oppression apart – and God's people will be afflicted no more. And though Assyria felt safe in its military might and its cruelty, God says she'll be utterly cut off – no more will God afflict His people with this destructive empire, whether it is the past or whether it be the future.  The bursting of bonds here, at the end of Verse 13, shows that God's people will be enslaved at some point again.  You actually read about that in Jeremiah, Chapter 30:8, that talks about end-time Israel being enslaved once again.  But God says that He will free them, and free them for good – free them forever.  God will honor those who trust Him. 

God gets upset when people repent but then return to their sins.  And that's what Nineveh did.  Nineveh repented in the time of Jonah, but then it didn't last long and they returned to their sins.  That's the lesson of Nineveh, and we too betray God when we return to sins that we've previously repented of.  We might think that we're better than the Ninevites, or the Assyrians, but in reality we're not if we keep going back to the slop – if we keep going back to sins that were repented of in the past.  We have to learn the lesson of Nahum here, and the lesson of Nineveh, and not return to sins once repented of.  Nahum 2:1 Nahum 2:1He that dashes in pieces is come up before your face: keep the fortification, watch the way, make your loins strong, fortify your power mightily.
American King James Version×
– let's go to Nahum 2:1 Nahum 2:1He that dashes in pieces is come up before your face: keep the fortification, watch the way, make your loins strong, fortify your power mightily.
American King James Version×
, because our Christian life cannot be an empty ritual…just something we do once a week and when we come to church. 

Nahum 2:1 Nahum 2:1He that dashes in pieces is come up before your face: keep the fortification, watch the way, make your loins strong, fortify your power mightily.
American King James Version×
  He who scatters has come up before your face.  Man the fort!  Watch the road!  Strengthen your flanks!  Fortify your power mightily.        

God is here speaking sarcastically to the Assyrians.  It's as if He's saying:  Man the fort…as if they could defend themselves against God. 

Verse 2:  For the Lord will restore the excellence of Jacob like the excellence of Israel, for the emptiers have emptied them out and ruined their vine branches. 

With this picture in Verse 2, the emptiers, or the Assyrians, have emptied and ruined the Israelites.  But, God said, He will restore them and all their excellence…so He will restore Jacob and His chosen people of Israel.  It's the prophecy of ultimate restoration for God's people.  Verse 1 and 2, here in Nahum, Chapter 2 appear to be telling Nineveh to defend itself against a restored Israel.  Israel was not restored back in those days, and the people  of Israel…I'm talking all twelve tribes…have not yet been restored on this earth – this is a future prophecy.  It would appear to apply a little bit to Nahum's time, but much more to the latter days – once again, showing the duality of this Book.  Nineveh, or the Assyrians, are told to watch out for a restored Israel.  And in the future, the Babylonian system that will enslave the whole world once again, is going to devastate the descendants of Jacob and the descendants of Israel, and empty them out of most of their people.  That's one of the scary prophecies of the future about the descendants of Jacob being emptied out once again. 

But around the time of Christ's return, God will be good to those who have trusted in Him.  He will empower a resurgence of His people, and those people, now spiritual Israel and the church, will be used to help bring peace and good tidings to the whole world through the kingdom of God.  And if you want to, at some point, you can read a lot more about Nineveh and Nahum's prophecy in our Bible reading program on-line, all about the resurgence of God's people in the end-time when Christ returns.  Also our booklet Revelation Unveiled, talks a lot about the end-time Assyrian world power that will rise again - notice the beast.  So God will be good to those who trust Him…we must remember that, and have faith and trust in that. 

Then the sixth point, I've simply titled:  "Nahum; a warning to us all" – "Nahum; a warning to us all."  As I said a moment ago, God gets upset when people repent but then return back to their sins.  It's the lesson of Nineveh.  And we, too, betray God when we return to sins we've previously repented of – that's what we studied of course through the Days of Unleavened Bread.  God will not allow us to return to old sins forever.  Jesus Christ, our elder brother and High Priest will not be patient forever.  Eventually destruction will come upon us if we don't change.  This story of Nahum does have an application for you and me today; it's there for us to learn from, to heed.  It's not just a story from history; it's not just a story of what happened to Nineveh - it has a duality to it.  It's a warning, not just to Assyria, but it's a warning to all of us to read and heed, that God does not take sin lightly.  It will lead to our destruction if we don't change.  And we might think that we're better than Nineveh, but in reality we're not if that Christian life is an empty ritual.  Before God, any sin, if not repented of and moved beyond, can lead to our destruction.  All sin brings the death penalty if we don't repent and change. 

How seriously do we work to put God first in our lives, to put Jesus Christ, as the Head of the church, first in our life?  How seriously do we watch our talk and our gossip?  How seriously do we practice undefiled true religion?  It's very difficult in today's day and age, to put the world out of our lives, to put our unselfishness out of our lives.  Notice James 1:27 James 1:27Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world.
American King James Version×
…I'm just going to read two passages as we close that are not in the Book of Nahum.

James 1:27 James 1:27Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world.
American King James Version×
  Pure and undefiled religion before God and the Father is this:  to keep oneself unspotted from the world.

He talks about taking care of the widows and the fatherless…then it ends with:  keep oneself unspotted from the world. 

If you're a true Christian, if you're an undefiled Christian, you must be unspotted from the world, and as we know, in today's society that is so hard to do.  Everywhere we go, everything we do, causes us to be influenced by this world.  We must keep ourselves unspotted.  If we don't take our calling seriously, we too, will have a catastrophic downfall, never to be found again.  We too, will be trampled under-foot, as was the dusty remains of the city of Nineveh.  Our calling is serious…what God has given us is real, and the promises that He gives us are worth it and are amazing.  But we must remember, just like with Nineveh, God will not allow wickedness to continue forever without consequences.  Instead, let's work diligently to make our calling and our election sure…to prepare to meet Christ in the air as His bride.  Let's continue to aim for our own resurrection; we're told, just as Christ was resurrected, we too, will be resurrected to eternal life in the kingdom of God.  Let's conclude with I Thessalonians 3, Verses 11 through 13:

I Thessalonians 3:11  Now may our God and Father Himself, and our Lord Jesus Christ, direct our way to you.   And what is that way that He's directing us in? 

Verse 12:  And may the Lord make you increase and abound in love to one another and to all, just as we do to you. -  Of course, that was some of Christ's final words to His disciples before He was crucified:  A new commandment that I give you that you love one another.  That is so important in the church, that we love one another.  And then notice Verse 13:

Verse 13: So that He may establish your hearts blameless in holiness before our God and Father at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ with all His saints. 

Our hearts must be established in blameless…to be blameless and to be holy before God.  We must stay unspotted from the world; we cannot allow the influences of Babylon, which is rife in our world today and will eventually be destroyed by Christ…we cannot allow that in our lives.  Just like God could not allow that ancient mystery religion to continue any longer for a while there in Assyria, we too must keep it out of our lives.  So, what can we learn from Nahum's message to Nineveh?  Why is it being recorded for us, as one of the prophets?  By the way, the Minor Prophets are not anymore minor…just means they are little books…they're major in message, right?  Does it have end-time significance?  Does it have an application for you and me today?  Most certainly, yes, it does!  We're told: don't let yourself go the way of Nineveh.  Live a blameless life of holiness before God…before your God.  And look forward to the coming of Jesus Christ, and your resurrection to immortal life.  That's the message of Nahum to us today. 

Comments

  • rodrigobarrosseabra
    Hello Petter, excellent sermon on the prophet Nahum and the double prophecy that hangs over modern Assyrians. Would you have more issues related to the Assirio Empire, such as migrations to central Europe? and other documents too?
  • Peter Eddington
    Hi Rodrigo. Thank you for your comments. In our literature at the United Church of God, an International Association, we primarily refer to the Assyrian Empire only as they interacted with ancient Israel. We do talk about Assyria in our booklet, "The United States and Britain in Bible Prophecy," in the chapter, "From Empire to Exile." You may find some more information there that is helpful to you: https://www.ucg.org/bible-study-tools/booklets/the-united-states-and-britain-in-bible-prophecy/from-empire-to-exile. You can also do a search on our website for "assyrians" to see what else we cover: https://www.ucg.org/bcse/search/assyrians. All the best in your studies! Peter Eddington.
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